It’s nearly that time of year

Nope, I’m not talking about Christmas although its high on my agenda; I’m talking about Black Friday!

It is now a mere 10 days away from what was typically an American tradition in the past, the Black Friday Bonanza, where companies slash prices on a lot of their products to try and entice us to spend, spend, spend in November.

Clearly it has worked and people go a little crazy, getting up early to nab a bargain or throwing themselves online and causing mayhem to companies sites. I’ve got caught up in it myself in the past and tried to look online at bargains etc but honestly gave up at the prospect of queueing to get on a website (If i wanted to queue, I’d go to the shop!)

I don’t want this post to be all about major sales etc because frankly it would be a lie if I said I was super excited for shopping. What is not a lie, is the prospect of new competitions to enter and the hope of winning something big.

Last week I shared the fact that I was a major competition enterer (probs not a word I know), and Black Friday has brought to my attention, a Halfords competition.

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Halfords are giving away thousands of pounds worth of goodies all chosen from their top deals which will go live on 25th November (the big day), and I myself will not be missing out on this opportunity.

The competition itself is super easy to enter, just create an account and answer a simple Black Friday related question. Entries close at midnight on 22nd November so get enterting sooner rather than later so you don’t miss out on the chance to win some incredible prizes.

So what are you waiting for?

Laura x

*this has been a collaborative post for the Black Friday Competition*

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The Real Side of Working in a Retail Store

I’ve regularly discussed in posts before that I work in the financial services industry but before that I worked for a high street clothing store that many of you will know and love. Now I won’t disclose the name because I don’t really see the need at this point but I wanted to talk to you about some of the pros and cons of working in a clothing store first hand.

Pro Numero Uno:

The discount! Now most stores offer some sort of discount for their employees but mine was brilliant. For 18months of my working life I spent a huge part of my wages back on clothing. It was essential to wear the clothing that the store had on offer at the time in some way so you found yourself buying lots of things just because. You might see this as a con in some ways but I’m a good saver anyway so any other money I didn’t spend, went into savings.

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Pro Number 2:

The people. I was pretty lucky that my time in retail was very positive in regards to the people I worked with. I met some lovely people who genuinely made my time working there a lot more fun. It can be a fantastic environment a lot of the time and there’s always plenty of people to help you pick an outfit for a special occasion at least.

Con A:

Thefts or attempted thefts. I worked at Monks Cross retail park so there were security guards anyway who regularly popped by and we had a radio that allowed us to communicate to not only them but the other stores. Whenever someone was on front of house duty, they were in charge of keeping a watchful eye out on customers and manning the radio. I can’t tell you how many times people attempted to steal things and it never was one of two items, they tried to steal loads of things every time. How smart do these people think they are. Even when we introduced tamper proof labels to the store, people were still attempting to grab and dash. The labels always did the trick and there was no thefts with them on. I recently read an article that said 49% of people buying items, hate the tamper proof labels via Data Label. I myself don’t mind them at all and from an employees perspective, they helped to reduce losses to your store which affects the performance.

Con Deux

The customers. Not every single time I might add, but very occasionally you will get a demanding customer who really wants you to magic something up from thin air, or go into the back and whip up one yourself on a sewing machine. It’s very tempting to get mad at them and give them all sorts of hell but unsurprisingly you cannot. The customer is always right in retail and that’s the way it is. It would be nice to let your sass out but you just have to learn to deal with things and know it’s not something you’ve done, just something else that’s potentially wronged them that day.

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Now I’m hoping I haven’t put any of you off a career in a retail store because by any means, I loved my time there and the pros certainly outweighed the cons. Sadly it wasn’t the career path for me but whilst at college, I had an absolute ball.

Let me know if you’ve had any similar experiences.

Laura

*This has been a collaborative post but all thoughts and writing are my own as usual*

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Banyan Harrogate re-launch and review

A few weeks ago I was invited to the re-launch of Banyan bar and restaurant in Harrogate. Due to work commitments I was unable to go but the lovely marketing people said I could choose a date and time that worked for me and review it then. So on Saturday the 20th, Bob & I drove to Harrogate for a day of shopping, mooching around the town and enjoying a good meal in the newly revamped Banyan.

First up the bar and restaurant looks amazing, exposed brick walls and copper lighting everywhere. Wooden shelves, plush turquoise booths and scrolls hanging on the walls as menus gave the restaurant an incredible feel and made us feel instantly welcome. I’ve shown 2 photos with flash and one without to show how great the copper looked in there.

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Bob & I sat down to enjoy a starter, main and dessert with some lovely cocktails thrown in for me, and cokes for Bob as designated driver.

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We decided to order the Teryaki Pork Belly and Deep Fried Brie Wedges for starters and were not disappointed. The Brie wedges were so yummy with an onion chutney on the side and Bob said his Teryaki Pork Belly was delicious as well.

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Onto the mains, we ordered the crispy Cajun Chicken burger for me as well as the Prince’s Trust Burger for Bob. Both burgers were cooked well and tasted amazing, jam-packed with homemade coleslaw, onion rings, salsa and even a side of chicken gravy for me. I completely forgot it came with this and was puzzled for a few minutes when i dipped my fries into it. It actually made a great little dipping sauce for the fries and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.

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Last up we ordered the salted caramel and chocolate Torte for dessert despite being full to the brim with good food. I took a picture but as you can see, the transfer onto my computer went a little awry…

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In Banyan’s defence, this was amazing and tasted absolutely beautiful. It was definitely the best part of the whole meal and I’m not usually a dessert person at all.

Throughout the meal we were served by the lovely Karen who was super efficient and great at recommending drinks. I started with the Sherbet Sipper and then on her recommendation moved onto the Passion Punch which was incredible. She is an absolute credit to Banyan and knew her stuff throughout the meal.

If you are looking for an amazing meal at great prices then this is somewhere you must visit whilst out shopping or just out for the day. We have already said we will go again in future as we enjoyed every bit of it.

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Laura x

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